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What to consider when negotiating a relocation package in aerospace

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Rebekah Valero-Lee Aerospace and Defence

In the aerospace industry, it’s not uncommon for engineers to relocate to foreign countries. According to the Deloitte Global Aerospace & Defense Outlook 2016, the global aerospace economy is expected to resume growth this year, which means there could be more job opportunities abroad for engineers. Currently, the US aerospace industry employs over 500,000 people, while the UK has over 110,000. Relocating can often come with attractive financial incentives, but there are a few things you should consider before moving.

Where to start

Your relocation package is similar to an employee benefits package, and therefore it’s important you know what’s being offered to you. Review the documentation and assess what it doesn’t cover which you may need. Common packages include moving costs, temporary housing, travel back home and help with selling your home.

Expenses

Relocating for an aerospace job is both financially and emotionally challenging, and it’s important you don’t play this down. Rather than suggest a lump sum fee, negotiate a package that will cover all your expenses. You should consider the following:

  • How much will it cost to move my family and possessions over there?
  • What are the living costs in this new country?
  • What about the costs incurred if I can’t sell my UK property?
  • Is childcare or schooling included?

If you’ve been offered a lump sum fee, you need to establish if it’s taxable, and if so, how much money you’ll actually receive.

Safety

It’s important to consider all circumstances that could affect your move, including the safety of the country and the security of your role. Research your new location to find out the following:

  • Has there been any incidents recently which could compromise my safety?
  • How secure is my job over there?
  • How safe is the community?

Health

You should research the health system of the country you’re relocating to. If private health care is included, review the documents so you know exactly what’s covered. You should also check if the cover applies to your family too – if not, how much will this cost?

Return flights

You don’t know what the future might hold; if you’re relocating alone, you’ll need to visit your loved ones back in the UK. Flights home can be a big chunk of your expenses so you should think about the following:

  • Are flights home included?
  • How much on average will it cost me?
  • How often will I visit?

Do your research

In order to ensure you’re getting a good deal, contact your HR department to see if there’s a written, standardised policy. Don’t be afraid to ask others what they received when they relocated either – this will give you the confidence to negotiate. Do you have a probationary period over there? What about performance targets?

How to negotiate

In order to make negotiation likely on a particular issue, be willing to meet in the middle. Explain why your request could benefit the company and your job role – for example, a vehicle will make you more flexible, while childcare means you could work earlier shifts if necessary. The key to good negotiation is not being afraid to ask for what you want and not losing sight of it. Think of why they want you over there – what are the advantages to your employer? It will put everything into perspective.

Legality

Lastly, when the negotiation has been confirmed, ensure you get everything written, finalised and signed to confirm your package.

With all the above, negotiating for a relocation package in aerospace should be easy!

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